Coronavirus New Jersey: Photographer Documents His Battle With COVID-19 Through Pictures, Videos
A New Jersey photographer documented his own struggles with the virus through pictures and videos.
RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Many people who have recovered from COVID-19 say it was the sickest they have ever felt. A New Jersey photographer documented his own struggles with the virus.
New Jersey has been especially hard hit by COVID-19. There are now close to 96,000 confirmed cases in the Garden State and 5,063 deaths.
One man who is now recovering from the virus is sharing his journey through his talent. Jeff Muhlstock documented his week and a half in the hospital through photographs.
He endured some tough days after being wheeled into a hospital to fight COVID-19 and during his dark nights, he even wrote notes to his wife and two children.
“I wanted them to know I loved them,” Muhlstock said. “I was just kind of preparing a last will and testament, if you will. I just felt that uh, there was a couple of nights where I wasn’t sure that I would make it through it.”
The Ridgewood, New Jersey cameraman documented his journey starting on March 26, when he was taken to the hospital with a persistent cough and fever.
He then recorded his trips to the x-ray room and was given the anti-malaria drug, Chloroquine, on March 28.
“I just took my first dose,” Muhlstock said.
During his treatment, his family recorded FaceTime check-ups with his doctors, who were protected from head to toe.
And Muhlstock shot footage of the nurses who were his lifeline to the outside world.
“I’m gonna attempt to walk to the bathroom,” Muhlstock said.
Sixteen days after developing symptoms, he was improving but still needed oxygen.
He recalls starting to stabilize two days after taking the malaria drug but doesn’t know if that was what did the trick.
“I just honestly have to feel that I was lucky my body fought off the virus at a place where it needed to fight,” he said. “I feel I dodged a bullet by not going on a ventilator.”
Finally, on April 5, he was ready to go home.
“Mom, he’s here! He’s coming. He’s coming down the street,” you could hear his children saying.
“I was so filled with emotion when the ambulance pulled up,” Muhlstock said. “I hadn’t touched another human being, except a nurse in a hazmat suit.”
The day after he returned home, his neighbors threw him a parade.
“That was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Muhlstock has been home for more than two weeks now and continues to feel better.
Proving that the battle may be tough, but those fighting can win.